The Board of Directors of the Little Rock School District held its regularly scheduled meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 23, 2005, in the Boardroom of the Administration Building, 810 West Markham Street, Little Rock, Arkansas. President Larry Berkley presided.
Roy G. Brooks, Superintendent of Schools
Beverly Griffin, Recorder of Minutes
I. CALL TO ORDER / ROLL CALL
Mr. Berkley called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. Five members of the Board were present at roll call; Mr. Day and Dr. Mitchell were absent. Ex officio teacher representative Stella Hayes from Mann Magnet Middle School and student representative Will Crass from Central High School were also present.
II. PROCEDURAL MATTERS / WELCOMING COMMENTS
President Berkley welcomed the audience and introduced the ex-officio board representatives.
III. REPORTS/RECOGNITIONS/PUBLIC COMMENTS
Certificates of appreciation were presented to the ex officio representatives for the month of June, Stella Hayes, teacher at Mann Magnet Middle School, and Will Crass, student from Central High School.
Carol Garner spoke in support of the recommendations from the Nutrition and Physical Activity Advisory Committee (NPAAC). Ms. Garner advocated healthy eating and increased physical activity as a means of preventing obesity in children. She provided research and statistical information from the Centers for Disease Control indicating that many illnesses and conditions in children may be prevented by awareness of diet and exercise as a means of good health.
David Gee introduced himself as a parent of children in our District. He also reported that he provides vending services in our schools and stated his support for the recommendations from the NPAAC. He noted that Act 1220 places emphasis on serving size as well as sugar and fat content restrictions. He asked the Board to consider the limitations that will be placed on the vending providers as well as the schools which receive revenue from the vending machines. In essence, fewer items will be offered as selections in the vending machines and more of our students will make their snack purchases before or after school if they are not given a choice of the items they prefer.
Lawrence Hobbs, building engineer at Dunbar, reported that he had been assigned to serve two schools for maintenance and upkeep. He felt that the assignment was retaliation for a grievance he had filed in 2003 against the facilities services director. He asked the Board and Superintendent to investigate his allegations.
Kenny Fisher echoed the remarks of Mr. Hobbs. He had been transferred from Cloverdale Middle School to serve Stephens and Bale Elementary Schools. He thanked Dr. Brooks and Mr. Rose for visiting Cloverdale to see some of the problems with the maintenance and upkeep at that building.
CTA representatives were present, but did not address the Board.
IV. REPORTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Mr. Kurrus remarked that it had been a very good school year. He encouraged the audience, parents, students and others in the community to encourage parents to look at our schools when they are making educational decisions for their children. He stated “we have a good product . . . we should share it.”
Dr. Daugherty reported that he, Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Brooks had attended a ceremony at Hall High School to honor the first African American graduate from that school. A copy of her senior yearbook was presented at the ceremony to “right a wrong” that had occurred over forty years ago; the yearbook she had purchased was defaced before she received it. Dr. Daugherty thanked Brady Gadberry, the interim principal of Hall High School, for organizing the ceremony.
Mr. Berkley reported that he had attended a press conference at Meadowcliff Elementary School to recognize the faculty and staff for significant improvements in student test scores. The pilot project was funded by an anonymous donor and provided cash incentives for improvements in achievement test scores.
Dr. Daugherty reported that a request for proposals had been developed seeking interest from individuals and community members for redevelopment of the Mitchell School facility. Mr. Milhollen was to provide an opportunity for the Board to make suggestions or comments prior to distribution. A sixty day period will be allowed for responses.
Mr. Becker was present and reported that he was completing end-of-year accounting and reporting. There were no questions from the Board.
The monthly technology report was printed in the Board’s agenda. Ms. Neal reported that notice had been received of $1.4 million in e-rate funding for the 2004-05 school year. The funds reimburse the district for monies spent for cabling, wiring and telephone installations.
Ms. Neal also noted that the current Technology Plan will expire in 2006. In order to continue to qualify for e-rate funding, we will be required to revise the Plan and provide a draft with the 2006-07 e-rate application in December. The committee will be formed and meet beginning in August.
Minutes from the regular meeting of the Board of Directors held on May 26 and from a special meeting held on June 9, 2005, were presented for review and approval. Ms. Strickland moved to approve the minutes as presented. Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
A. Recommendations from the Nutrition and Physical Activity Advisory Committee (NPAAC)
Dr. Brooks recognized members of the District’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Advisory Committee, which consisted of thirteen parents and community representatives and twelve district staff members. Margo Bushmaier, coordinator of health services for the LRSD briefly reviewed the recommendations, which were printed as part of the Board’s agenda.
Board members spoke in favor of the committee’s recommendations. However, they asked that the educational component be made a part of the District’s overall health curriculum in order to emphasize to students and parents that their personal choices will have the greatest effect on a healthy diet. Mr. Kurrus stated, “We can pass these guidelines, but we cannot assume responsibility . . . to ensure that students don’t become obese.”
Mr. Rose made a motion to implement all no-cost recommendations provided by the NPAAC for the 2005-06 school year. Items requiring funding will be considered for implementation as the Board reviews budget and allocation of resources. Mr. Kurrus seconded the motion and it carried 5-0.
A. PRE / Quarterly Update
The June 1 quarterly update was submitted by the Planning, Research and Evaluation Department for submission to the District Court as required by the June 2004 Compliance Order. Dr. DeJarnette was presented to respond to questions. Mr. Kurrus moved to approve the submission, Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
B. 2005-06 Evaluation Agenda
As mandated by Board policy, an annual evaluation agenda was submitted for the Board’s review and approval. The submission provided the schedule for 2005-06 school year evaluations: four “Step-2” program evaluations as required by Judge Wilson’s June 2004 Order, and one non-mandated evaluation recommended by the PRE Department. The complete schedule of evaluations was printed in the Board’s agenda.
Mr. Rose expressed particular interest in the results of the non-mandated evaluation, that of the District’s Magnet and Specialty Magnet Programs. All of the evaluations will be coordinated through the Planning, Research and Evaluation Department and will be conducted by two external evaluators, Dr. Steve Ross and Dr. James Catterall. Mr. Rose moved to approve the schedule of evaluations. Mr. Kurrus seconded the motion and it carried 5-0.
A. Personnel Changes
The printed agenda included several administrative appointments in addition to the routine personnel items. In addition, a slip sheet was presented for the Board’s consideration. The administrative appointments were:
- John Bacon, Principal, Hall High School
- Randy Rutherford, Principal, J. A. Fair High School
- Eunice Thrasher, Principal, Dunbar Magnet Middle School
- Diane Rynders, Assistant Principal, M. L. King Elementary
- Sandra Register, Assistant Principal, Rockefeller Elementary
- Eloise Booth, Assistant Principal, Terry Elementary
- Karen Broadnax, Coordinator, ESL/Multi-Lingual Services
- Lillian (Renee) Kovach, Director, Certified Personnel
- Robert Robinson, Director, Classified Personnel
Mr. Rose moved to approve the personnel actions as presented. Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
A. Proposed Budget for Annual School Election
To comply with legal requirements regarding school elections, the Board was asked to approve the proposed budget for the 2006-07 school year. The budget and the proposed tax levy was presented for approval and will be published in accordance with Arkansas law. Mr. Kurrus moved to approve the submission; Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
B. First Reading: Policy FA New Facilities Development Goal
As requested by the Board, Mr. Milhollen developed policy FA: New Facilities Development Goal. The promotion of buildings that are environmentally responsible is at the forefront of planning for energy and resource conservation at the local, state and national levels. In an effort to promote a positive effect on the City’s environment and provide healthy places for students and employees, Policy FA was presented for first reading approval. Mr. Rose moved to approve Policy FA on first reading. Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
C. Resolution for Leasing Authority
Mark Milhollen presented a request from Verizon Communications Corporation to lease small parcels of District property at Central, Parkview and McClellan High Schools for the purpose of erecting communications towers to support cell phone systems. A resolution supporting the request was submitted for the Board’s review and consideration granting authority for this lease. Mr. Kurrus moved to approve the resolution supporting the lease agreement; Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion. It carried 4-1 with Mr. Rose casting the “no” vote.
D. Request for Breakfast and Lunch Meal Price Increase
The Director of Child Nutrition submitted a request through Mark Milhollen, Chief Financial Officer, to increase the price of meals served in the school cafeterias. Current meal prices had been in effect since the 2002-03 school year. The proposal requested an additional $.25 for breakfast meals making breakfast $1.00 for students and $1.25 for adults. The requested $.50 for lunch meals would raise the price to $2.00 for elementary student meals, $2.25 for secondary student meals, and $2.75 for adult lunch meals. The Board was asked to approve the requested increases. Guidelines for free and reduced lunch meals would remain effect and these increases would not apply to those students. Mr. Rose moved to approve the request for an increase in school lunch prices, Mr. Kurrus seconded the motion and it carried 4-1 with Dr. Daugherty casting the “no” vote.
E. Consulting Agreement
Phase I of the District’s reorganization was approved by the Board in March 2005. Phase II and II will provide the support systems that will ensure an efficient transition to the restructured operations. Dr. Brooks and District administrators have continued to work with the consultants, Dr. Dennis Smith and Mr. Bob Klempen, and the Board was asked to approve an agreement that would continue services of these consultants until June 30, 2006. Mr. Rose moved to approve the consultant’s contract as submitted by the administration. Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion and it carried 5-0.
F. Donations of Property
The Board was asked to approve the acceptance of recent donations to schools and departments within the District. The donations are listed in the following chart. The student ex officio, Will Crass, read the items listed in the Board’s agenda. Dr. Daugherty made a motion to accept the donated items, Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
Brady Elementary School
$1,000 cash for science incentives
Bank of the Ozarks
Central High School
78 albums, valued at approximately $500 to the CHS music department
Science equipment and supplies, valued at $1,983.54 to the CHS science department
Kristen Papan, Mr. & Mrs. Curran Papan
Lydia Robertson of Health Pharm
Cloverdale Magnet Middle School
Three computer workstations, valued at $200 each, to be used in resource class
Mr. Harrold Powell of Arkansas Securities Department
Fulbright Elementary School
$3,000 cash reimbursement for miscellaneous items
$300 cash for Bookmark Student Awards
Soccer equipment valued at $200
Lunch, valued at $197 for fifth grade field trip
$177 cash for fifth grade field trip
$50 cash for Reading Buddies Early Literacy Intervention Program
Fulbright Elementary PTA
Michael and Kay Cleventer
Frank Battisto, Dixie Restaurants, Inc.
Mr. Sam Storthz and Dr. Suzanne Klimberg
Geyer Springs Elementary School
Neighborhood Challenge Grant in the amount of $500 to purchase and install outside picnic tables and metal cover
City of Little Rock Challenge Grant Program / Geyer Springs Neighborhood Association
Henderson Health Science Magnet Middle School
Trumpet, valued at $500
Mr. Clarence Young
Terry Elementary School
Landscaping materials, valued at $115 for school grounds and materials valued at $50 for field day
Six computer workstations, valued at $100 each for the music program
Robert Reeves and Charles Milburn of First Stop Flooring
Ann McDougal, Deputy Commissioner / Arkansas Securities Department
G. Financial Report
The monthly financial
summary reports were provided to the Board as part of the printed agenda. Mr. Milhollen reported briefly and responded
to questions from the Board.
X. CLOSING REMARKS
Dr. Brooks announced the scheduled meetings for Rightsell Elementary and Cloverdale Elementary communities on Tuesday, June 28th. He also announced that he would be out of the office on vacation for several days in July and that Mr. Hattabaugh, Deputy Superintendent, would serve as Superintendent’s designee during that time.
XI. EMPLOYEE HEARINGS
The scheduled employee hearings were closed to the public. All of the hearings were for employees who were affected by the district’s reorganization. The positions were eliminated, and the employees were asking for their positions and salaries to be reinstated.
- A clerical employee was represented by Grainger Ledbetter, Executive Director of the Classroom Teachers Association. The employee reported that she had held her current position since November 2004. She felt that her job functions were necessary and required for efficient operations in her department. She also reported that she had submitted applications for twelve of the current job vacancies, but had only been selected to interview for two positions.
Dr. Olivine Roberts, Associate Superintendent, responded to questions regarding the decision to eliminate this position. Dr. Roberts stated that the existing clerical unit in the Curriculum and Instruction Department would assume responsibility for the job functions previously performed by the employee. She stated that schools would certainly continue to receive required and necessary services.
After a brief discussion, Mr. Kurrus moved to uphold the Superintendent’s recommendation to eliminate this position. Ms. Strickland seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
- A clerical employee requested a hearing regarding the reclassification of her position. The employee did not appear for the hearing. Beverly Williams provided brief background information and requested Board action to uphold the administration’s recommendation regarding the reclassification of this position.
Dr. Daugherty moved to uphold the recommendations of the reorganization plan to reclassify this position. Mr. Kurrus seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
- Another employee was also represented by Grainger Ledbetter. The employee had served for eight years in his position. This position was eliminated through the District’s reorganization.
Mr. Wayne Adams, Director of Maintenance and Operations, stated to the Board that the functions performed by the employee could be subcontracted at a much lower cost than that associated with a full time employee with full time benefits. Mr. Adams stated that he would be responsible for ensuring that we remain in compliance with all laws and regulations. He also agreed that if it became necessary to have a full time person in this capacity, he would recommend reinstatement.
Dr. Daugherty spoke in opposition to elimination of this position. He stated concerns with safety and meeting the obligations to students and staff members to provide an environmentally friendly environment. Mr. Rose spoke in agreement with the comments made by Dr. Daugherty.
Mr. Kurrus stated his confidence in the recommendations of the administration. He noted the importance of accomplishing the tasks associated with this job with greater efficiency at a lower cost. He followed with a motion to uphold the administration’s recommendation to eliminate this position. Ms. Strickland seconded the motion and it carried 3-2, with Dr. Daugherty and Mr. Rose casting the “no” votes.
Dr. Daugherty left the meeting at 8:20 p.m.
- An employee reported that he had served as a building engineer for six years. He stated that he had applied for several twelve month custodial positions since being notified that his position was being downgraded, however he wanted to appeal to the Board for reconsideration of eliminating his full time position as building engineer. He also suggested that his position could remain full time, and that he would be willing to serve two schools.
Mr. Kurrus moved to uphold the administration’s recommendation to reduce this position from a 12 month to 9.5 month position. Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
The Board convened an executive session to discuss a personnel issue at 8:40 p.m. on a motion by Mr. Rose, seconded by Mr. Kurrus, and decided unanimously.
The Board returned from executive session at 9:20 p.m. and reported that no action had been taken.
There being no further business before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 9:20 p.m. on a motion by Mr. Rose, and seconded by Mr. Kurrus.
APPROVED: 07-28-05 Originals Signed by:
Larry Berkley, President
Katherine P. Mitchell, Secretary